Episode 6: Uber Visa was Always a Bad Card

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I discuss why the Barclay’s Uber Visa card was never a good credit card. Learn about what to look for when considering credit cards and how to maximize savings.

 

Rough Transcript:

You’re listening to the Hurdy Gurdy Travel Podcast. I’m your host, Justin Vacula with how to travel the world at next to no cost through credit card signup bonuses, perks, and rewards. This is episode six discussing why the Barclay’s Uber Visa card was never a good credit card. Learn about what to look for when considering credit cards and how to maximize savings.

I’m back with new content slightly under the weather, excuse the slightly raspy voice, but still eager after a move to Bensalem, Pennsylvania – close to Philadelphia and New Jersey – finally back to home internet! Let’s get to it!

At the end of October, Barclay’s bank changed terms on their Uber Visa card – a card often considered a good cashback no annual fee card. Existing users of the card, especially those who recently applied, lamented the changes calling the card dead. I was extremely puzzled wondering what all of the fuss was about because this card is not even in my personal top 100 list of cards to sign up for. I also wouldn’t suggest this card because there are so many better options.

Initially, the card offered a $100 signup bonus, 4% cashback on dining including bars and UberEats; 3% back on airfare and vacation rentals; 2% back on online purchases including Uber and online streaming; and 1% back on everything else. People not deep into the credit card space may view this as great thinking about opportunities for more than 2% back on certain categories and an easy to achieve $100 signup bonus, but the total value in year one with this card probably won’t exceed $150 for most people. Future years likely won’t generate more than $50 in value. Why bother when many other cards offer great signup bonuses, benefits, and categories which can make a significant difference like grocery?

The beauty of applying for multiple cards allows us to, after months of starting or even earlier than that, have multiple categories for more than a 2% return covered. Currently, I’m working on hitting the high spend goal on my American Express Blue Business Plus which offers me 2x points on transactions up to $50,000 in spend each year – 100,000 points which is worth about $1500 per year. My combination of Citi DoubleCash and Citi Premier cards allows for at least a 2.5% return on all spend when points are converted from cash and redeemed for travel. I get 4x points on dining with my American Express Business Gold Card and 5x on airfare with multiple cards although that’s quite minimal. I get 14x at Hilton hotels with my American Express Aspire card…and it goes on. Almost all of these cards, too, has great signup bonuses allowing for around $750 of value in the first year and returns in future years are also solid. For a deeper dive into why you shouldn’t focus so much on category returns, listen to episode three of this podcast.

What about Uber, should we use the Uber Visa card for Uber? Not at all. At the time of recording, November 5th of 2019, Uber gift cards are on sale – 15% off at Dollar General stores. One can buy Uber gift cards with a credit card, working on a signup bonus or high spend goal, and get returns of over 20% – far better than 4% cashback. Uber gift cards are frequently discounted – be on the lookout for good deals on Paypal Digital Gifts, Raise.com, Walgreeens, CVS, Rite Aid, Best Buy, and so many other locations. One can even buy, although I wouldn’t suggest it – wait on a sale! – Uber gift cards at an office supply store with Chase Ink Cash getting 5x points or a grocery store getting a nice multiplier and stack deals like bonus fuel rewards points and grocery discounts.

Look to combine deals and maximize your spending and saving and, really, it doesn’t take much effort or research especially when utilizing great websites like doctorofcredit.com and gcgalore.com. Don’t let laziness hold you back. Don’t say, oh, that sounds like a lot of work. Don’t think you have to spend hours of time finding deals to save only a little bit. I’m also here to help you navigate your journey into credit card rewards – feel free to reach out especially completing the credit card questionnaire at hurdygurdytravelpodcast.com.

If you’re just starting out in this space, as I’ve said in previous episodes, it’s good practice to start with Chase personal and business cards & other business cards which don’t appear on your personal credit report due to Chase’s 5/24 rule and Barclay’s sometimes enforced 6/24 rule. If you open five or six cards which appear on your personal credit report, you may no longer be approved for cards. We don’t want to miss valuable cards especially when so many cards we might want now will be around in the near future.

Signing up for the Barclay’s Uber Visa would be a strike against 5/24 and take away the potential of obtaining much higher value from cards like the Chase Sapphire Preferred card, World of Hyatt card, and Chase Ink cards. If you’re looking for a good, easy card to start with and have decent credit (good history and scores over 720), I again recommend the Chase Sapphire Preferred card I have mentioned in previous episodes. Those with scores in the high 600s can get Chase Freedom or Chase Freedom Unlimited. Those with lower scores might have to burn a 5/24 slot signing up for a card like Discover IT or Discover IT secured if they don’t already have cards and wait to see their credit score climb. It may also be prudent to become as authorized user on a trusted friend or family member’s account to piggyback from their credit score. I don’t recommend burning multiple 5/24 slots, though, one card should be fine. Maybe more can be okay, too, if you’re not traveling too often.

After 5/24, I see no good reason to apply for the old version of the Uber Visa card if changes were not made. People in the credit card space for several years are still applying for new cards as banks issue new products with solid value and offers on existing cards increase almost every week – just in the past few weeks I saw increased offers from Bank of America, Capital One, American Express, and Citi.

The new version of the Uber Visa card, as I see it, made a bad card even worse with now 5% back on Uber and Uber Eats in the form of Uber Cash (balance you see in your Uber apps). Again, 5% is nothing to us when we can save more on buying discounted gift cards even amassing a larger balance if desired when sales range around 15-20%. We see 3% back in dining, hotels, and airfare – nothing significant here – how much of a bonus are we really getting when comparing to existing cards offering at least 2% back in points or cash? We’d never hit significant volume and would likely experience opportunity costs – this would be better spend on progress towards a high spend goal or signup bonus…and 1% back everywhere is obviously terrible. We still see no annual fee on the Uber Visa, something which is surprisingly attractive to many, but what good is no annual fee if the card provides very little value and annual fee cards are wonderful investments when we’re netting hundreds of dollars in gains after accounting for an annual fee? For more, listen to episode two of my podcast titled Don’t Sweat Annual Fees.

This credit card hobby offers a wonderful promise – maximize your returns on spend you’re going to do anyway by gaining wonderful signup bonuses, benefits, and deals which allow you to travel the world at next to no cost. The Barclay’s Uber Visa will not be part of this puzzle. Barclay’s bank, though, goes offer good products with the Jet Blue Business card and Aviator card. Even the personal JetBlue card is a decent option if you’re over 5/24. Sign up for good cards. Be strategic. Doing nothing or making mistakes can lead you to leave thousands of dollars on the table.

Thanks for listening and stay tuned for more content!

Visit my website at HurdyGurdyTravelPodcast.com where you can read episode transcripts, complete a free credit card questionnaire to receive tailored recommendations, view helpful resources, listen to past episodes, and contact me.

Support my work through Patreon, Paypal, the Cash App, and referral links by visiting the donate tab on my website. Subscribe on YouTube; like on Facebook; follow on Twitter; and follow on Instagram.

Visit my other podcast project at stoicsolutionspodcast.com where you can find practical wisdom for everyday life inspired by the ancient philosophers of Greece and Rome.

Thanks to generous patrons and fans of this podcast who help support my work. Have a great day.

Show notes:

DoctorofCredit.com

gcgalore.com

Thanks for listening and stay tuned for more content!

Support my work through Patreon, Paypal, the Cash App, and referral links by visiting the donate tab on my website. Subscribe on YouTube; like on Facebook; follow on Twitter; and follow on Instagram.

Visit my other podcast project at stoicsolutionspodcast.com where you can find practical wisdom for everyday life inspired by the ancient philosophers of Greece and Rome.

Thanks to generous patrons and fans of this podcast who help support my work. Have a great day.

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